A United Airlines flight had to be diverted after a slide deployed mid-flight. The jet had left Chicago and was headed to California when the incident happened just after midnight. The Los Angeles Times shared the details on Monday.
Flight 1463 had to land in Kansas in the midst of the incident, which seems to have understandably frightened the passengers quite a bit. KWCH reports that the emergency evacuation slide deployed mid-flight inadvertently. While some reports had indicated that a passenger had opened the door and caused the incident, the FAA says that “it is impossible to open a door at that altitude.”
There were 101 passengers and crew members aboard the United Airlines flight. Passengers reportedly heard a hiss and a pop a little more than an hour after it departed Chicago. Then, the slide started to expand. The crew reacted quickly and the plane safely landed in Wichita soon after the incident. Some passengers report that they were worried the slides might push the rear cabin doors open, and passengers were glad to get to the ground.
It seems the pilot managed to have the plane on the ground within about 20 minutes of the slide deploying mid-flight. Passengers were given hotel accommodations overnight and Monday morning the passengers were transported via other aircraft to their final destination. The airline's maintenance team will be inspecting the Boeing 737-700 to determine just what happened. The FAA is already investigating the incident, but it could take several weeks to determine just what caused the slide to deploy mid-flight. Luckily, despite the unsettling incident, nobody was injured.